The B-1 Lancer was a long range, strategic bomber which was developed by the American firm Rockwell International for the United States Air Force. Although it did not take part in the 1991 Gulf War, the B-1 was used during Operation Desert Fox (1998), Operation Enduring Freedom (2001), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003). The Lancer first flew as a prototype (B-1A) on December 23, 1974. Having been upgraded, the bomber was finally delivered to the Strategic Air Command in June 1985, entering service as the B-1B on October 1, 1986. The B-1 program was initiated under the Nixon Administration, was postponed by Jimmy Carter, but was completed at the behest of President Ronald Reagan, supervised by Caspar Weinberger.
The Rockwell B-1 Lancer was a supersonic, four-engined, aircraft which was fitted with variable sweep wings, which could sweep from 67.5 degrees to 15 degrees, full forward to full sweep. Forward-swept wing settings were used for takeoff, landings and high-altitude maximum cruise. Aft-swept wing settings were used in high subsonic and supersonic flight. Part of the aircraft structure was made of titanium. The B-1B avionics consisted of an AN/APQ-164 forward-looking offensive passive electronically scanned array radar set with electronic beam steering, synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator (MTI), terrain-following radar modes, Doppler navigation, radar altimeter, and an inertial navigation suite.
Engine: four General Electric F101-GE-102 augmented turbofans
Maximum speed: Mach 1.25 (830 mi/h, or 1,340 km/h)
Range: 7,456 mi (11,998 km)
Service ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,000 m)
Wingspan: extended 137 ft (41.8 m); swept: 79 ft (24.1 m)
Length: 146 ft (44.5 m)
Crew: four (comander, co-pilot, offensive systems officer, and deffensive system officer)
Avionics: one AN/APQ-164 forward-looking offensive passive phased-array radar; one AN/ALQ-161 radar warning and defensive jamming equipment
Weapons: 75,000 lb (34,000 kg) of bombs in three internal bomb bays; 50,000 lb (22,700 kg) of bombs on six external hard points (conventional, cluster or nuclear bombs)